STARTING this academic year, the College of Architecture and other architectural schools in the country will follow a standard curriculum with six new subjects prescribed by a Commission on Higher Education (Ched) order, Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said.

The new curriculum according to Ched Memorandum No. 61, series of 2006 (Policies, Standards, and Guidelines for the Bachelor of Science in Architecture), was a result of a review of architecture education policies, standards and guidelines as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Architect Project.

The Apec’s 14 member-economies have decided to adopt a standard architecture curriculum “to establish a common basis for the recognition of professional competence that will simplify access to independent practice as an architect in other participating economies,” according to the international organization’s webpage.

With the curriculum, architecture education will be “responsive to the growing demands for human resources in (the) business and industrial world,” the memorandum stated.

Fernandez said that since UST professors helped in crafting the new curriculum, there won’t be a radical change in the programs offered by the college.

“About 80 percent of the authors of these new curriculums came from the UST College of Architecture. They patterned (the new curriculum) with our present curriculum,” Fernandez told the Varsitarian. “Basically, the changes are very few except for the six new additional subjects.”

The additional subjects are solid mensuration, interior architecture, conservation, building systems, environmental management planning, and tropical design, to be imposed only on incoming freshmen architecture students.

“We just have to create new syllabi for the additional subjects. Apart from it, the rest are the same,” Fernandez said.

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The new curriculum has 232 units, higher than the 2005-2006 curriculum, the previous curriculum, which had 219 units. But this is lower than the 247-unit load in academic year 2004-2005.

“It is due to the modifications of curricula that there were subjects already part of the previous programs that were removed and were brought back again,” Fernandez said. “We were like moving back and forth (in administering curricula). Some subjects were added, some were removed, while some were merged then were separated again. However, we just have to comply with Ched.”

The dean noted that solid mensuration as originally part of the architecture curriculum in the 1970s, was later removed, and now a part of the 2007-2008 curriculum.

Moreover, since the curriculum is a “ladderized program,” students who fail to reach third year due to financial, health, or other reasons can still be given a certificate as a draftsman, Fernandez revealed.

The new curriculum was signed by former Ched chairman Carlito Puno in 2006 and took effect during academic year 2007-2008. A grace period of three years was given to architectural colleges and universities to fully comply with the Ched memorandum. Nikki Q. Angulo

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